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The reasons we returned to Italy...

Back in the early decision days of where we wanted to visit, Italy would be a quick one night visit (to stay at a winery), before heading to Slovenia.

The main reason again was the amount of time we would be able to stay in the Schengen region and since we had been to Italy 2 years in a row we thought we would be good for a few years, or would we?

We booked our night at Malvira winery as we had their wines previously, and really enjoyed them. We made our way from France to Italy through the winding roads up to the Malvira winery.

The winery is as beautiful as the photos, and on top of that our room had its own private terrace overlooking the vineyards and the local church. It was heaven, except it was 36C.

We relaxed for a few hours enjoying the scenery and the peacefulness of the area before we showered up and headed to the main terrace for cocktail hour.

Dinner was a fantastic veal tartar, pasta with veal ragu and lamb with goat cheese paired with a nice bottle of red which was recommended by our server.

A nice surprise when our server gave us a glass of a nice Nebbiola for us to sample. In fact so good we bought a bottle of it to have on our private terrace after dinner. It was such a lovely place and so serene, we stayed up until 2:00am admiring the moon, the solitude and commenting on how lucky we truly were to be able to do this trip.

Morning came a bit early, but none the less, breakfast was tasty and waiting for us on the terrace. Packing up and sadly saying goodbye we were onto the next place.

Since we had to cross through Italy, why not make a night of it to enjoy the winery, and then we can move east to Slovenia. Then we looked at how close Florence was and then we decided to make a quick detour. We went for the food. Not your typical, oh let’s go to Florence for pasta or pizza, nope, we went for the white beans.

Going back a few years ago, we had these beans the first time we visited Florence after seeing a couple not only share one between the two of them, they also ordered another one for themselves. We had tried them at one of the restaurants we visited, suggested by Debbie and Phillip, Cinghiale Bianco and loved them. The following day, we went back to the first restaurant to order them, and they were even better than the previous night.

Ever since then we have gone back to this restaurant, La Mescita, to have the white beans, hence the reason we made the journey back to Florence. The night we arrived it was closed and because we do not speak Italian we didn’t know whether it was closed for the evening, on holidays or permanently.

Home of the best fagioli all'olio in Florence

We decided to go back the next day and hope the trip was for naught.

The next day we went back, and yes, they were opened, so we each ordered our white beans. They were as tasty as we remember.

We walked around Florence some, but having been before there wasn’t much else we cared to see which was probably a good thing as we needed to do laundry. Everyone thinks traveling is glamorous!

After laundry, we splurged on a new wallet for Mark. If anyone knows Mark this is a process in itself. He has been searching for a wallet for the past 8 years. Finally, a wallet which would meet, or somewhat meet, his expectations.

After that score, we made our way to one of favorite gelato places, because one cannot go to Italy and not have a gelato before heading back to the hotel.

The next day before we were to leave Florence we decided to hit our restaurant again for some more white beans. Who knows when we would return, so it made sense to have one last meal. Lucky for us, the brothers who run the restaurant wanted to advise us they will be on holidays for the next 10 days so don’t bother coming until the middle of August. Sometimes lady luck is on your side.

After having our fill, we then started our trip east to Fruili, hone home to our favourite winery, Emilo Bulfon, where we were hoping to stay the night at the winery’s B&B. They were booked at the B&B, but we knew that we could at least buy some wines at their winery. It took us a bit longer than expected due to the fact Italy was starting their holidays and took us close to 2 hours to get out of the area.

Once we got past to traffic, we managed to hit secondary roads which would take us through some pretty villages, mountains, and just stunning scenery. We decided closer to Fruili we would hop on the A1 to get us there quicker. It was now closing in on 1600 and we weren’t sure how long the folks at the winery would be around.

We made it in time, and the good news we were able to buy a case of their wine, which we just love. It’s always good to buy the wines at the winery if at all possible, a) it’s less expensive and b) one gets wines which may not be distributed in your area. We also got to have a sample of the wine with the winemaker/owner, Emilio Bulfon himself.

From there, off we go to our B&B about 45 minute drive from the winery. Took a bit to figure out where they were but they too had a small vineyard tucked in between other homes and farms. It was such a cute place and although English was pretty much non-existent we had a pleasant stay.

The host couldn’t have been nicer, as we sat out on the picnic table enjoying the mountains, our host had asked if we would like some wine. Okay, who are we no to a B&B which makes their own wine. Out our host comes with a big jug of homemade wine. The cost, I hear you asking? $6 USD for 2 liters of house wine.

Great way to end our trip to Italy. And although we enjoy Italy, we were truly excited about our next adventures as the upcoming months will allow us to see countries we have never visited and learn about their rich histories.

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